The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Customer Service Assistant

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 If you are a people person and love to interact with customers and solve problems, then a customer service assistant role is for you.

In this job, you could end up working in any industry – whether it’s retail, food and beverages, a post office or a train station. Whichever industry you are interested in, there’s bound to be a team of Customer Service Assistants working hard to make every customer happy.

What is a Customer Service Assistant?

As a Customer Service Assistant, your main duty will be to provide help and assistance to every customer that walks through the door, ensuring the customer is always content.

  • Job Description

    You will have come across Customer Service Assistants​ all the time whilst going about your day, but what does the job really involve?

    Customer Service Assistants provide help to customers by using their knowledge of the company and its products to help make purchasing decisions, answer any customer enquiries and deal with complaints.

    You will often be the first person that the customer interacts with. Therefore it is vital that even in stressful situations, you remain calm and always look and act professionally, with a friendly smile on your face.

  • Hours of Work

    What hours will you need to put in?

    Customer Service Assistants’ hours will vary depending on which industry they are working in.

    You will have to be flexible as shifts may include evenings and weekends. A full time position is usually 37-40 hours; however, part time positions may also be available.

  • Main Responsibilities

    If you’ve ever wondered what a Customer Service Assistant’s week goes like, below are just a few of their general responsibilities.

    • Answering customer’s questions by phone, email or face-to-face
    • Giving quotations
    • Taking payments
    • Placing orders
    • Ordering stock
    • Tracking orders and giving refunds
    • Resolving complaints
    • Checking product availability
    • Entering customer information onto a customer database
    • Giving refunds
    • Keeping the area clean and tidy

Key Customer Service Assistant qualifications

The good news is there’s no formal qualifications required to do this job. Most employers will prefer you to have GCSE’s grades 9-4 (A*-C) or equivalent in English and Maths, but it’s not always essential.

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Experience of working in a similar environment or with customers will often be valued more than formal qualifications, and if you’ve done any volunteer or charity work make sure to add it to your CV as it is a plus for employers.

While it’s not vital, it may be useful to have a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificate or diploma in customer service to help you stand out against other candidates. An NVQ is a work-based qualification, which recognises the skills and knowledge someone needs to do a job. This will set you up with an understanding of customers and how to give great service, which will help you to get a job if you don’t have any previous experience.

You could also get into this job role by applying to an apprenticeship, which usually lasts 12 months. You will be able to gain experience whilst learning outside of the workplace. This qualification will be great to add to your CV if you decide to move on to another company once the apprenticeship is complete.

Vital Customer Service Assistant skills

Have you got the skills?

Obviously the most important skill to have is excellent customer service! This means being patient, friendly, informative, helpful and efficient. Other skills you will need are:

  • Good communication 
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Ability to handle difficult situations
  • IT and administration
  • Attention to detail
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What is a Customer Service Assistant's salary?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…

The average hourly rate for a Customer Service Assistant is between £6 and £8. Some companies may offer the national minimum wage to those less experienced in the role, which varies based on age.

You may also be able to earn commission depending on the company that you work for.

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How to become a Customer Service Assistant?

So you think you have what it takes?

This type of job appears quite often on online job sites like ours. This is because Customer Service Assistants are needed in almost every company!

The first thing to do is to make sure your CV is top notch and up to date. Remember to add any experience you may have, any qualifications and the skills you have that will impress the employers.

Keep an eye out for opportunities, and when it comes to the interview, make sure you have done your research on the company! Employers are looking for people that really know and understand the business. Be confident, friendly and show off your skills. This is the time to show that you can interact well with people, gel with a team and give great customer service.

How to develop your Customer Service Assistant career

After gaining experience as a Customer Service Assistant you could progress onto becoming a team leader. This role would be perfect for those who have worked in a company for a long time and are ready to climb the ladder. This will take a lot of determination and hard work but will be worth it when you start to see your career develop.

You could even find out what other roles the company has to offer. For example, a receptionist. A lot of people find it easier to move around within a company, as they are already familiar with the people, the processes and the products and services. Once you’re in, and you’ve made a good impression, you can see what else could be in store for you!

If working in the same company for a long period of time is just not for you, you could apply to work for a larger company or try a different industry where there may be more opportunities within your role for you to explore.

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